Legalization of Marijuana Essay

Submitted By maxsgoldstein
Words: 1454
Pages: 6

Marijuana has been around for thousands of years. In fact, the first couple of versions of the Declaration of Independence were written on hemp paper. Throughout the years, the cannabis plant has gone from textile use to medical purposes to recreational uses. These uses for the plant still continue to be used in many places around the world, including the United States. “Up till 1883 and for thousands of years before, cannabis hemp was one of the largest agricultural plants in the world”(The Union). The first law about marijuana was about how it would be illegal for farmers not to grow hemp. Hemp was also used to start one of America’s first paper mills by Benjamin Franklin. During the 19th century, cannabis was used in most of the textiles, along with 50 percent of medications produced used the oil made from it. “Even Queen Victoria used the resin extract from cannabis to alleviate her menstrual cramps”(The Union). Since industrialized hemp lacked the THC (Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol) people were not able to get “high.” Marijuana did not get a bad reputation until the early 1900s when “Reefer Madness” began and prejudice journalism had come around, this was due to the idea of Latin Americans and African Americans being crazy people who smoked marijuana, played devils music, and disrespected Caucasian people (The Union). Although many people feel marijuana is a “gateway” drug and could cause more harm then good, the United States should make it legal because marijuana has many purposes that could replace synthetic drugs, the cannabis plant fiber

can be used to make paper, rope, and clothing, and marijuana’s effects are shown to be safer then alcohol and tobacco.
Medical Marijuana “The cannabis plant (marijuana) . . . [has] therapeutic benefits and could ease the suffering of millions of persons with various illnesses such as AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, seizures disorders, chronic pain, and other maladies” (Mack and Joy). Marijuana has been used for medicine for approximately 4,700 years; starting in China and India as a ritual intoxicant, which eventually lead to it being used to folk medicine. In ancient China, cannabis was found to ease vomiting, parasitic infections, and hemorrhage. Where as in ancient India, cannabis was used for appetite, insomnia, digestion, and a pain reliever. Ancient Greek and Roman physicians thought that it would decrease sexual performance (Mack and Joy). “. . . Galen (2 A.D.) and Pliny the Elder (circa 25 A.D.) as well as Discorides-a doctor in the army of the Roman emperor Nero (1 A.D.)-recommended marijuana as a treatment for a variety of ailments, including earache” (Mack and Joy). In 1860 at the first American conference on the clinical use of marijuana, doctors found that marijuana treated, chronic cough, gonorrhea, pain, and many other aliments. In the early 1900s two pharmaceutical firms had started to produce drugs that were consistent and reliable from hemp (Mack and Joy). “Against the advice of the American Medical Association, the U.S. Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which imposed though restrictions on marijuana sales and prescription” (Mack and Joy). But in 1942 the United States Pharmacopoeia had taken marijuana out because it was considered an addictive and harmful drug (Mack and Joy). “Several basic studies indicate that marijuana acts differently from conventional treatments for a variety of conditions, so it may prove to be a valuable source of auxiliary medicines” (Mack and Joy). The drug Marinol uses synthetic THC as the active ingredient to treat nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy and AIDS wasting syndrome. People who have AIDS or HIV have a poor immune system, marijuana helps them because the medications they are put on reduce appetite and increases nausea, resulting in a very harsh process. When they intake the THC it helps reduce nausea, pain, and increase their appetite. Patients who have cancer or…